One of the first things I wanted to try when I went off the Swank diet was Fettucini Alfredo.  Pre-diet days, that was my absolute favorite Italian dish and I always ordered it at restaurants.  Post-diet days, it's still delicious, but the fat content is just too much for me to rationalize making at home on a regular basis.  I'm still supposed to eat healthy, people!  Plus, the five pounds or so that I have gained is enough for me.  :)

Anyway, I came across this Ellie Krieger recipe, and decided to try it.  I always love her food makeovers!  This one is definitely one of my favorites and I'm so glad that I have a light alfredo dish to turn to when I'm craving a creamy pasta dish!  I love the light sauce and the addition of the zucchini.  I also add mushrooms because I just love them.  You can pretty much add any veggie you like to this.  My hubs isn't a fan of anything creamy, and even he loved this dish.  When your picky eater husband approves a meal, you know that means the dish is a hit!  

  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (garlic press)
  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced into half-moons (used food processor)
  • 1 container of baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 thin skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold 1% milk 
  • 1/2 cup evaporated nonfat milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


Cook pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set the cooked pasta aside.  

Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet/dutch oven.  Add 1-2 cloves of garlic and saute over medium heat for 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Add the zucchini and mushrooms and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes.  Transfer the veggies to a bowl. 

Heat another tablespoon of oil in the skillet.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.  Cook the chicken in the pan, about 2-3 minutes per side depending on thickness.  Set the chicken aside.  

In a small bowl, whisk the low fat milk and flour together.  Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet with the remaining garlic.  Cook 30 seconds on medium heat, until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the milk-flour mixture and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat to low and cook, continuing to stir, for about two minutes.  Finally, add the evaporated milk, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the grated cheese.  Stir to melt the mixture, for approximately one minute.  

Cut the chicken into strips and toss together the pasta, alfredo sauce, zucchini, mushrooms, and parsley. Add reserve pasta water to loosen if necessary.  Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.  Enjoy!   

*Omit the chicken and add more vegetables to make delicious vegetarian dish!


*Note: This picture does not do the dish any justice.  I was too hungry to take a decent photo!*

Ok this is by far the most mouth watering, amazing, and flavorful macaroni and cheese ever.  I decided to make this while my husband was out of town, since he isn't a big fan of mac and cheese.  I intended to eat it for a about a week for lunch, but that did not happen.  I finished it in about two days!  All by myself! I was a bit upset with myself for eating like such a pig, but I just couldn't help it. The regular ol' mac and cheese that I make is definitely good, but this one doesn't even compare.  The sauteed mushrooms and herbs add so much flavor to this dish, which is great when cooking with something flavorless like fat free cheese.  The blend of cheeses worked very well too.  I was wary about substituting gruyere cheese for fat free swiss cheese, but the results were surprisingly good.  The bread crumbs on top also add a nice crunchiness to each bite. Overall, I was ecstatic with the results.  I cannot wait to make this again and this time I will have my husband try it as well.  I highly recommend this and think everyone should add it to their grocery list...now! :)

  • 1 lb of corkscrew pasta (or your mac and cheese favorite)
  • 2 tbsps of olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 gloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp fresh basil, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 cups 1% milk 
  • 6 oz of fat free american cheese (Lifetime)
  • 6 oz of fat free swiss cheese (Lifetime)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs, lightly toasted (I used Italian seasoned)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside. Then, chop the shallot, mince the garlic and herbs, and shred the cheeses. Set aside all ingredients.  

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the chopped mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, add the white wine vinegar and set aside. 

Next, in a medium saucepan heat the other tablespoon of olive oil.  Whisk in the flour and make a paste.  Continue whisking the paste for a couple of minutes until it turns golden. Stir in the fresh herbs and continue whisking for about 1 minute, until they are fragrant. Pour in the milk and whisk constantly while the mixture simmers and thickens.  Finally, add the shredded cheese gradually, stirring constantly so that there are little or no clumps.  

Add the cooked pasta and mushroom mixture into the cheese sauce.  Stir really well to combine everything together evenly.  Pour the mixture into abaking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Let it cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.  Enjoy! 
My husband and I went to a hole in the wall Italian restaurant a couple of weeks ago and as I was reading the menu, I came across Pasta Primavera.  I was really tempted to order it, but my husband informed me that Pasta Primavera is , "gross and has lots of weird vegetables in it".  I decided to listen to him because the place was a bit scummy, but since then I had wanted to try this pasta. I thought that pasta with lots of yummy vegetables actually sounded quite delicious and enticing!

When I got home I found a five star rated Ellie Krieger recipe that I used to guide me for this dish.  I loved that I could basically put any vegetables in it that I wanted and take away any that I didn't want either.  I also added grilled chicken since my husband isn't a fan of vegetarian dishes.  The end result of this meal was delicious.  The vegetables are yummy and fresh and the pasta sauce is perfectly flavored.  I was afraid that the sauce may be a bit too dry, but it was light and creamy at the same time. Even my husband, who was less than thrilled that I decided to cook this, was impressed and said it was really good! This one is definitely a keeper. 

Oh and for all my veggie followers (all two of you!), this one is for you! :)

  • 1 TBP extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in 1/2
  • 1 cup low sodium organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 TBS all purpose flour, dissolved in 3 TBS of water
  • 1/2 sp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 carrots, sliced into strips with food processor/peeler
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into strips with food processor/peeler
  • 1 pound linguini
  • 2 TBS parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, shredded


Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. 

Prepare all your veggies first. Mince the garlic, cut the asparagus, slice the mushrooms, and slice the carrots and zucchini. This will save you lots of time!

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat.  Cook the garlic until soft and fragrant.  Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, and asparagus and cook until softened for about 5-10 minutes.  Add the flour, stir and cook for oneminute. Then add the chicken broth, milk, salt, and pepper and stir some more. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until the liquid has thickened a little. Add the carrots, zucchini, parsley, and basil. 

Mix in the pasta with the vegetables and toss everything around well.  Add pasta water to the pasta if necessary to loosen the mixture.  Taste for seasonings and serve.  Enjoy! 
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Tasty Treats By Michi Original

*I'm fully aware that this picture looks like a bunch of slop on the plate.  I was too hungry to take decent pictures! :)* 

My husband loves eggplant, so he actually introduced me this dish.  I have never really been into eating vegetarian meals for dinner, but this is absolutely amazing! Tonight was the first night I made this and we ate like pigs (as you can see from the humungous portion on the plate).  This is actually a pretty easy recipe to make, and a great recipe to freeze.  I had planned on making this last week but wasn't able to finish cooking it, so I froze the eggplant after breading it (before I even got a chance to fry it).  Today I took it out of the freezer, fried, and baked it and it was perfect.  This is definitely a great meal to prepare in advance and heat up later on when you are too tired to cook! 

  • 1 medium to large eggplant 
  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 4 egg whites, beaten 
  • 1/2 cup Panko Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs 
  • 1/2 cup Ians Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs (or your favorite organic brand)
  • 1/4 cup Rice Grated Parmesan Topping from Galaxy Nutritional Foods
  • Olive oil for frying 
  • 2 jars of Classico Tomato & Basil (or your favorite sauce)
  • 8 oz of fat free mozzarella cheese, grated (Lifetime or Kraft)
  • 1 box of spaghetti 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch circles and set aside.  Prepare your breading assembly line by putting the 1/2 cup of flour into one bowl, the beaten egg whites into another bowl, and both breadcrumbs and rice parmesan into the last bowl.  Make sure to mix the breadcrumbs and rice parmesan together well. 

Dip the eggplant rounds first in the flour, then in the egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs mixture. Make sure to let the excess egg drip off each piece before dipping into the breadcrumbs mixture.  Pat the breadcrumbs onto the eggplant so that they adhere well. Set breaded eggplant pieces aside. 

Put half of 1 jar of tomato sauce into a large baking dish and set aside. 

Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan on medium or medium low heat.  Fry the eggplant for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are browned and crispy (not burned!). You may need to add a little more olive oil if the eggplant soaks it all up while frying.  Do this in batches until all the eggplant is fried.
Place the fried eggplant in a single layer in the baking dish with tomato sauce. Pour the remaining half of the jar of sauce over all the pieces.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top of the eggplant pieces and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and soft. 

While the eggplant is baking, cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Make sure to salt the pasta well.  Also, in a small saucepan, heat the second jar of tomato sauce on medium-low heat until warmed through. 

Serve the eggplant on a bed of spaghetti with tomato sauce.  Bon Appetit! :)

I had some leftover carrots after Thanksgiving that I didn't know what to do with. Usually I use carrots as a base for soups, roast them, or just snack on them raw, but I decided to try something quick and easy as a side for dinner last night. This came out extremely delicious and was a nice little break from our usual carrot recipes! Of course, it's low fat, healthy, and this time, also vegetarian and vegan friendly.  I know some of my veggie followers have wanted more veggie recipes, so here's one for you! ;)

We had this with my Easy Balsamic Grilled Chicken recipe and it was a perfect combo with the chicken and the Low Fat Creamed Spinach.  Recipe links above! 

  • 1 pound or so of carrots (I had a little less than a pound)
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar

Cut the carrots into 1/4 inch slices at a diagonal.  Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pan and sauté the carrots for about 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through and tender.  Once the carrots are cooked, add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and stir to coat.  That's it! 

Parents, I definitely think this would be a winner for kids.  Who doesn't like vegetables with sugar on them?